What is it that triggered a change in you ? At what point in your life did you know that ‘This is what I want to do’
Apparently what fascinated a sixth grade kid were the colours use in C programs his brother would show off.
Hari Vignesh Jayapalan was only in the sixth grade when he knew he had a calling towards the functionality of computers , Its our pleasure to interview the ‘First Google certified Android developer in the world ‘.
If you are a developer or in to testing or you just want to get inspired you want to read this interview :Loads of information in one article.
How it all started :
I was a gamer in my school days. I got my first computer when I was in 6 grade. That’s the inception of my interest in computers. I was only playing games during my school days. Sometimes my brother used to show off few C programs that he writes. That time I found the colours of the keywords in the program really fascinating. My curiosity in games and programs increased everyday. I was curious on finding out how on pressing the key, an object in game performs the action and how program identifies keywords and shows in different colours and stuff.
This made me pursue IT engineering. Back in my college days I used to indulge in student developer programs like Microsoft student partner. I was also working part-time for free in a small startup at coimbatore. That exposed me early to this IT industry and developer ecosystem. People in that org inspired me a lot and it gave me the boost and resources to be a better developer.
After my college, I got placed into a startup in bangalore. That’s my first official full time job. I was the only sole contributor for Android development and I was asked to do without any training. That road was very bad and I learned a lot by failing fast.
Even now the constant career advice I give to my juniors is to start their career in a startup – as that will make them fail very faster, so that they grow stronger and emerge better in their circle. Failures and rejections will teach lot of things.
I also practise product designing and UX engineering by freelancing in my spare time, as I wanted to be an entrepreneur some-day, I strongly feel both the design and development knowledge will make that journey little easier.
What are projects you worked on, tell us about the best one and the worst one.
I’ve worked on a lot of projects for organisations and but my favorite one is my personal project called Niram, meaning colour in Tamil. It’s an app for color blind people, where when you point the camera at any object, it will speak the color, letting people know what colour it is. So that colorblind people can easily go for shopping for their loved ones without depending on anybody.
There is nothing like worst project, even if an app fails, you will still learn lot from the project. Failure in anything will provide a lot of lessons. So I have great respect for all the projects that I have worked.
What is your take on Kotlin?
Kotlin will be a life saver for Android developers. The language is not new for Android. It was introduced in 2016, only when Google announced it as official language for Android, it’s picking up a lot of pace. Kotlin is another ocean and it’s expanding constantly. But many developers are facing little difficulty in migration. It can be because of lot of factors – like learning curve, management pressure etc. But I see it as a great gift for future Android devs. Like once when material design was introduced, I remember myself implementing the navigation drawer from scratch. But now we have a menu template itself. So when a new paradigm is introduced, it will take some time to get stable and many higher wrappers and helpers will be built on top of it. Then the adaption will be constant. Right now it’s in the buffer zone. I got my hands dirty with Kotlin before Google’s announcement. But now lot more have come to kotlin community. The bottom line of adapting Kotlin is that, it will make the developers write and manage less.
Being the First Google certified Android developer in the world
I took up this certification program to gain more confidence. Till now I’m always the individual contributor. When I started my career, I was in a team of 5 and I’m the only android developer and a fresher. So I did not have proper android mentor and I was always trying to measure my skills and where I stand among the crowd. That’s when this certification program caught my eye.Its a recommendation to all the developers out there.
The thing I liked most about this program is that, it was project based.
I did not expect that I would be the first one to be certified in the world. It was a huge surprise. The certification program manager came in person for an interview. I was also invited to Google io 17.
They also featured my story in Google developers youtube channel(click to watch ) These experience were really great. I would never forget those moments in life ever.
Who is your developer role model and why?
Well, there are a lot of them. Jake Wharton, Android demi-god for many devs. I love his work.
He was in an Open source org called square. He architected fascinating open source libraries for android. Most of the apps running in the Play Store will use his libraries. I happened to click a picture with him at Google IO this year – awesome memory indeed.
How do you test your app?
I ensure best practises during development to avoid majority of bugs. Then I write unit tests to ensure all the small components working fine. Sometimes the testing team will write UI automation tests.
With respect to performance, I use tools in android studio, to measure the heap, memory leaks and RAM usage. Also, Appachhi provides quick score to keep me on track.
Appachhi platform has great potential and interests among developers. It would be really useful for all apps with huge user base.
Going through the testing before releases is a pain and if any performance issues arises, performing patch release is another headache.
So, this platform covers all important issues and it suggests the developer what to do. I think that really saves lot of time for them. And testing all the apps in the playstore is not an easy job.
How do you constantly stay updated and what resources would you recommend for freelance developers?
Well, I subscribe to many weekly e-mags for android like Android weekly and Kotlin weekly. I also attend lot of meetups, monthly at least one. I engage with many developer communities. Google engages community throughout India – getting there will give everyone a proper eco-system to grow with. Also, I write blogs – once you teach the world something, you will gain more clarity. I’m also a mentor in an Android Developers community called Mindorks, it’s a wonderful eco-system of Android developers, teaching each other with high quality research content.
For freelancers, you need to build your profile in such a way that projects should find you. Not the other way around. With nice profile, you can find freelance projects as well as people will try to hire you – you can convert them as your clients as well.
India for App developers and testers – your point of view
India is a great market for app developers and testers. Google has recognised this and it’s trying to convert many developers to mobile app developers. They’re introducing lot of programs like Solve for india and stuff. I feel that the app developers and testers population is increasing everyday but they should also catch up themselves on the quality and best practises, just to swim for longer in this industry.
Hari is an inspiration to many developers out there, his profile is built on sheer passion and hardwork . We would like to congratulate him for all his achievements and wish all the very best for all his future endeavours.
PS: He is a speaker in the upcoming GDG Coimbatore Dev Fest 2017 – October 14th 2017 .
He is going to speak about Kotlin. If your there this is your chance.